Any kind of lamp you can (or not) think of
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    Auction Finds

    Readers ask about F.A.I.P. lamp & how to find an auction

    Friday at Auction Finds is readers’ questions day. I try to guide readers to resources for them to determine the value of the items that they own. I’m not able to appraise their treasures, but I can do some preliminary research to get them started. So, these are market values, not appraisal for insurance purposes that I suggest for items that have been determined to be of great value.

    This week’s questions are about an F.A.I.P. lamp and how to find an auction.

    F.A.I.P. lamp

    I bought this lovely F.A.I.P. lamp with a basket-weave shade at auction a few years ago.


    F.A.I.P. lamp, can find little info as well, other than the confusion of the name “Fine Artist In Plaster” or “Federal Arts Initiative.” Info found by Googling. … I have (an) F.A.I.P. lamp to run for auction, need $ and appreciate any info if it is familiar. Time was put into this one, hate to part with it.


    The reader came across a blog post I wrote more than two years ago about a beautiful ethnic lamp that I bought at auction with a maker’s name of F.A.I.P. I found several lamps with the same name but could find very little additional information.

    Most sites were repeating the same unverified information that F.A.I.P. stood for “Fine Arts In Plaster” or “Federal Artists Initiative Program.” Some even mentioned that it was part of the Depression-era Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project, which I suspect is wrong. The lamps have more of a 1950s style.

    You didn’t send me a photo of your lamp, which wouldn’t have made a difference because I can’t identify it. As for selling the lamp, I would suggest you try an auction house near you but ask them to sell it in their upscale auction (where it may sell for more), not their regular auction. Check a few auction houses before choosing one, and remember that they will charge you for the consignment.

    You can find auction houses near you via Just type in your zip code, click Search and you’ll get a calendar of auctions by month and day.

    EBay is another alternative because it offers a large marketplace from all over the world. The retail site Etsy is another suggestion.

    The asking price for F.A.I.P. lamps on some online retail sites was in the hundreds of dollars – from $450 to $1,200, depending on the lamp. On eBay, they actually sold for $10 to $275, but a lot of them did not sell.

    items for sale at auction

    Boxes of items await sale outside an auction house.


    I have been following your site since the posting about the Negro Motorist Green Book. I searched and searched for one, but couldn’t find one. I am generally interested in auction finds, so my question to you is how do you find out about the auctions?


    Thank you for following Auction Finds. I appreciate it. I’m also on the hunt for the Negro Motorist Green Book, and I always comb through papers and documents at all the auctions I attend hoping to find a copy. I’m certain that someone has one in their basement or attic waiting to be discarded on an auction table so I can stumble upon it.

    I have been going to the same auction houses for years, so I don’t search for them anymore. Most auction houses have a set schedule for their auction days.

    It’s very easy to find auctions near where you live. Go to and type in your zip code and click Search. You’ll get a calendar showing auctions in your area by month. Click on any of the links and you’ll get a list of auctions for a particular day.

    Most auction houses have a website, which will be listed with a link, and you can check the site to preview photos of the items in their upcoming sale.

    I have written a blog post on what to expect at an auction. Good luck and have fun.




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